As the end of term approaches, our routines are transformed into endless days sat in the library, surrounded by books and sat staring at our laptop screens desperately awaiting the arrival of some intellectual inspiration. The inevitable all-nighters many of us are familiar with mean that we don’t get nearly as much sleep as we should. A lack of sleep can make you feel rundown, meaning you’re more likely to become ill – which won’t make reading medieval literature or deciphering equations any easier.
The last few weeks of the semester mean our minds are inscribed with never-ending to-do lists. With all these thoughts whizzing round your head you’ll probably find it difficult to drift off at the end of the day. Try making a list of all your worries and tasks, that way you’ll have a more manageable plan of action. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking each one off and feeling the load slowly lift.
Listening to music can also help you slip in to a deep slumber, so trying to make a playlist of songs which send you off like a lullaby will help. Popping your headphones on will also block out any noise that your housemates might be making, transporting you to your dreams. Alternatively, if complete silence is what sends you to sleep, purchase some ear plugs and that way you’ll be able to block out any noisy neighbours and achieve the serene silence that you desire.
Deadlines can make many things fall out of routine, but be sure not to let it affect your meal times. Set yourself a time to stop working so you can cook your dinner at a sensible time. Also, aim not to eat anything in the 2-3 hours before you go to sleep as indigestion will make sleeping difficult. Steer clear of any caffeine as the evening gets on, unless you’re pulling a necessary all-nighter, as you’ll be fighting a losing battle before you’ve even begun.
Many student’s kryptonite at this time in the academic year is the danger of napping. The amount of hours we spend staring at a screen and reading can make our eyelids feel heavy and it isn’t even midday. Resist the urge to let your eyes close and go to sleep for a ‘few minutes’, as before you know it those few minutes will have turned in to a four hour sleep. Go and get some fresh air to inject some life back into your body and give yourself a break from your work.
Keeping your body clock in sync is vital. All-nighters, in the library or down Prince of Wales, can seem like a good idea but don’t make them a habit in weeks 10 to 12. Try getting up fairly early each morning and going to bed at a reasonable time, stick to this pattern until your coursework has been handed in – giving up a few weekend lie-ins won’t hurt, promise. Your mind, body and coursework will thank you for it, trust me.